Before starting the game, make sure you have everything you need to play Scrabble. You will need a board, 100 tiles of letters, a shelf of letters for each player and a cloth bag to store the tiles of letters. You will also need 1 to 3 players. Choose the dictionary you will use for the challenges. It is possible that, during the course of the game, someone plays a word that another player thinks is misspelt or not even a word. In a situation like this, you’ll have to look up the word in a dictionary. Make sure you have a dictionary on hand to deal with the challenges.
- Place the letter tiles in the bag and shake them. To make sure the letters are mixed, place them in the bag, close it and shake it a little. If you do not have a bag, you can place all the letters face down on the table and mix them.
- Determine who will start. Pass the bag around the table and allow each player to remove a tile. Then, place the tiles face up on the table. The player with the letter closest to the letter “A” begins. Place these letters back into the bag and shake it again before removing the tiles
- Extract your tiles; starting with the player who got the letter closest to “A”, pass the bag with the tiles around and have each player draw seven tiles without looking at the bag. Do not show these tiles to the players. Just place them on your shelf and pass the bag to the next player until everyone has extracted their letters
Playing the game
- Put the first word. The player who chose the letter closest to “A” must place the first word. The word must have at least two tiles and must be placed along the star square in the centre of the board. The word can be placed vertically or horizontally, but not diagonally.
- When calculating the first score of the word, keep in mind that the player who places the first word gets double the total score because the star counts as a square of higher value (a double word bonus). For example, if the total value of the first word played was 8, then the player will get a score of 16.
- Count your points. After placing a letter, be sure to count your points. Add the points in the upper right corner of each of the tiles you have placed. If you placed a tile in a square of higher value, adjust your score as indicated in the square.
For example, if you put a word on a square that says “Double Word”, then you should double the total value of the word. If you place a tile on a square that says “Double letter”, then you must double the value of that tile letter only when calculating your score. Extract new tiles. After each turn, you will have to extract as many new tiles as you have just played. For example, if you played three of your tiles to form a word during your turn, then you will have to draw three more at the end. Place these new tiles on your shelf and pass the bag to the next player.
Build on the words of other players. In your next turn, you will have to form your word from the words that your opponents have formed. That means you cannot create an independent word on the board. All tiles must be connected.
As you build on the words that your opponents have formed, be sure to consider all the tiles connected. Your addition to the board should create at least one new word, but if you connect it to other tiles (from other addresses) then you should make sure to create valid words with those connections.
Use your tiles to get the highest possible score in each turn. It is a good idea to consider several moves during each of your turns and make the move that will earn you more points. Look for opportunities to incorporate higher-value squares and higher-scoring letters such as “Z” and “Q” to your moves. The highest value squares available include:
- “The double-letter score”: means that a letter placed in this square will get twice the number of points shown in the letter.
- “Double word score”: means that a formed word that includes a letter placed in this square will get double the number of points.
- The triple letter score”: means that a letter placed in this square will get three times the number of points shown in the letter.
- “Triple word score”: means that a word formed with a letter placed in this square will get three times the number of points.
Challenge other players to debate about a word. If you believe that a player has formed a word that does not exist or that another player has misspelt a word, then you can challenge that player. When you challenge a player, you should look up the word in the dictionary. If the word is in the dictionary and the player has spelt it correctly, then the word will remain and the player will get the points. The challenger loses his turn. If the word is not in the dictionary or the player has spelt it incorrectly, then the player must remove the word from the board. The player will not earn points and will lose that turn.
Swap tiles that you do not want. At some point during the game, you can decide that you want to trade some or all of your tiles for new ones. You can use a turn to get new tiles. Simply return the tiles you no longer want to the bag shake the bag and extract the number of tiles you returned. Just keep in mind that you cannot form a word after extracting new tiles since this operation will count as a turn.